Sunday, 27 February 2011

Practical and pretty

My iron-board is big and wide.  I always have difficulties to find the right cover, the one that going to stay in place, the one that will be ‘bumpy’ enough.  You might argue that it should not bother me to much as I am not the one in charge of the ironing! That’s right, but I believe that in everything we should seek for practicality and prettiness.

I used this tutorial found at Stop Staring… start sewing! I’ve seen other tutos on the web, but hers is so simple and straight forward.  I made a couple of changes: added some wadding (the size of the board plus 1’ all around) for the bumpiness, and two elastics clipped under the board for extra tightness.

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Look at the fabric.  I could not NOT buy it.  Do you see the sign “Reine”, I used to buy my fabrics there when I was young and living in the Paris suburb.

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I am now thinking of painting my little stool in blue, and probably use the left-over of fabric to cover the laundry baskets my Grand Father made me.

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As I said practical and pretty!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

I’ve been schnibbling

The tittle of this post could have been:

  • 7 hours later – cancelled the gym, cancelled lunch, had a coffee and a soup and kept sewing until the kids came back from school.
  • My best friend the ripper – did not pay enough attention, and have had to rip a few seams, but honestly the cat did not help, she wanted to, but could not get the colour properly organised!
  • 3 Wallenders later – probably another reason I was not concentrating enough, but you have to love Kenneth Branagh in this role. How can he play an over tired, unhealthy, unshaved police man and still have some sex-appeal?

It took me almost all day to put it together, but it is done. I had a ‘cutting party’ a couple of weeks ago, and could not really decide how to put this little top together. Nothing difficult, but you know, how to balance the colours, how to keep it harmonious and pleasing. After arranging, re-arranging the colours, I could not remember what was the previous version and decided that it will be good as it is.

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Still to be done: piece the back with the rest of the 30’s prints, and quilt (machine-quilt). Surely, I can do this before the end of March.

And "Merci" to BĂ©atrice would gave me the inspiration of starting this. Look at her ‘Year of Schnibbles.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Can’t (Teddy) Bear it!

Our Group is about to lose its Leader.  I am sure she would not like to be call The Leader, but to be honest, she is the one who brought us all together!

I met Mandy a couple of weeks after I arrived in S’pore.  I remember, as I was shopping, seeing a group of ladies very busy around a tiny batik shop.  My instinct pushed me  toward them: ‘they must be quilters’ and if not there must be something very interesting in this shop.  Within minutes, I had my confirmation: they were QUILTERS, and I also got invited to Mandy’s next quilting meeting (and yes, this tiny shop is full of beautify batiks – Holland Village Shopping Centre, 2nd Floor) …Since then, the Tuesday’s meetings are my little window of sanity.  The group has grown, evolved, given birth to a Knitting group, and I am sure, if we push it a bit, we could probably have a Cooking group, a Walking group, a Chatting group…

Anyway, we wanted to do something special for Mandy, and we thought that a signatures Teddy Bear would be a good idea.

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But he is so lovely in crispy white and batik, I am not so sure I would like him to be signed on.  So I made a little bag to go with it (tutorial from the Pink Penguin, here), so there’s somewhere to sign if the Ladies of the group feel that they can’t “Bear’ signing on Teddy!

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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Books, books, books

Apart from knitting, sewing, stitching, running, pilating, taxi-driving the kids, cooking, I like to read (have I already said this before?).  Here is my To-Read-List:
  • IMGP0128Le Projet Lazarus – Aleksandar Hemon: my current reading, finding it difficult to keep my interest on.  The New York Magazine said “the best book of the year”.  Humm!..
  • The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls; I think my good friend in England recommended this one.
  • Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother – Amy Chua; THE book to read at the moment; when I first tried to get it a couple of week ago, it was sold out. Amy Chua received a large coverage of her book: “It was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better as raising kids than Western ones” says the back cover!
  • The Help – Katryn Stockett; no idea how I came across this one, it has something to do with the location: Mississippi, the era: 1962, the characters: 3 women.
  • La carte et le territoire – Michel Houellebecq; this is a Christmas gift, got the Prix Goncourt.
  • The Lacuna – Barbara Kingsolver; Orange Prize 2010, must be good.
The list would not be complete without crafting books:
A Stitch in time         
A Stitch In Time is a knitting book of Vintage patterns from 1920 to 1949.
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The second one is Simple Graces,lots of scrappy quilts <3
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At least, no creepy picture of skinless body and skull on this post!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Turning into my Mum

Surely, one day or another, you gasped at your reflection, walking in the street, and asked yourself “What is my Mum doing here?’, just seconds before you realised that the image was not your Mum’s but yours.  When I was a teenager, people I did not know would say hello to me, thinking they recognised my Mum.  That used to upset me, but to tell the truth, I look like her since I look like my maternal grand-mother and all the other women on this side of the family.

But today, I realised that I must carry more than just a physical resemblance.  When we were young, my Mum used to ‘bake her worries away’; having her hands in the flour would relax her, as if the smell of freshly baked cakes would smooth things.

This week, I baked:

  • a double batch of Oat, Raisin and Chocolate chips cookies;
  • a banana loaf;
  • a batch of plain scones;
  • and finally, a batch of strawberry scones (in a heart shape), and a batch of chocolate chips scones.

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It’s lucky I have three kids to consume all of this!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Too many ideas rushing through my head

This morning, I wanted to ‘work’ on the tabs of this blog, and decide which blogs I will link.  So I opened all the bookmarks I have been saving for some times now, and started browsing through them.  And it is when it happened, from one blog I followed a link to another, found a great idea, saved a new bookmark, then follow another link, left a comment somewhere, opened a new tab to remind myself to check something later, and kept jumping from one page to the other… At least one hour later, I’ve added some 5/6 projects to my Wish-to-Do list, saved a few more bookmarks of blogs I want to go back to, registered as a follower, but had not progressed at all on the selection of my 'best, preferred blogs.

It is now time for me to practice the Cello (exam in a couple of weeks), I need to prepare for my Pilates classes next week, must be back at 3:00 for the kids (who would have imagined that, at their age, it was so important for them to find me home when they came back from school).  I have a Teddy Bear to produce, a Shnibble to sew, a jumper to knit.  I need some fabric for the great top I just spotted.  I must make time for a run this afternoon.  I need to find a nice restaurant to go out with NSAH2, this week-end… And I thought that I would have more time once not working outside.  The trouble is that time seems to vanish.  There are so many things I want to do, and I end up rushing through my days wondering where they’ve gone.  I sometimes wonder whether I am intentionally making my life to rush, so I don’t have to think about what I accomplish or NOT!

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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Knitted

Should I start all my post by ‘Yes, I finished it!’? It seems that I am quite good at starting new projects, but have more difficulties finishing them.

During Christmas holiday, I start knitting a little, fast kimono for MP’s Bb #2. Her little baby boy will be borned in April/May, the beginning of winter, in Australia. He will need something to keep warm, but easy to put in, with 2 little ones, MP won’t have time to fiddle with not-always-easy-to-fit-through-the-neck tops.

The pattern is from Joji Locatelli and can be found on Ravelry. I had to adapt so it worked with my yarn; I am not the best when it comes to check the gauge. So off course I had a false start, frogged it and started again. I modify the neckband, using a grey bias rather than knitting it. And for good measure, I knitted a little hat to go with it (no pattern here, just knitted and improvised).

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After such a successful finish, my fingers were ready to start a new something… but I’ve decided against it, this year must be a year of FINISHES, so I dug out my ‘Orange Ripple’ which was started almost 2 years ago. I am working on it right now, determined not to start another knitting project until this one is done. The colour gives me energy and the yarn dry still nice to knit.

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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

There’s a new crafter in town

Ladies and Gentlemen (sure I have at least one reading from time to time),

Beware, there is some strong new competition in the Crafting world. Here are the details.

Name: J. for Juliette

Age: 10 (and a half)

Signe particulier: one green eye, the other one brown

What has she done?

  • Started playing with my sewing machine a week ago (lots of fancy stitches).
  • Decided she want to sew a skirt for her friend in England (if you are her friend –best- in England, leave the room now, you are not supposed to see this).
  • Bought (on Mum’s PayPal account) a skirt pattern online.
  • Dragged Mum (no, not really) to Spotlight and chose a pink-ish fabric.
  • Assembled the 33 pages of pattern.
  • Asked Mum to cut the necessary pieces.
  • Pinned the pattern onto the pink-ish fabric.
  • Sewed all the parts together, asked the occasional questions to Mum, and for a bit of help…

and VoilĂ ! Skirt done, with nice ribbon and fancy stitches.

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I am so proud of my girl!